Why I Transferred Colleges

My name is Yasy – I’m a sophomore at Georgetown U.  

My freshman year of college, I decided to do something that I never foresaw myself doing — I transferred. You see, unlike many people that decide to transfer, I loved the school I was attending. I met two of my very best friends there. But after some time, the school lost its oomph for me. I felt as if I outgrew the college and if I wanted to make the best out of my college years, I could not continue my education here.

I chose my college because it was a niche, small liberal arts college. When I decided to attend there for college, I was about to graduate from a small high school, and the thought of a bigger school frightened me. This college felt exactly like my high school in the best way — small class sizes, beautiful campus and engaging professors. But perhaps, that exactness was the problem.

The feeling of comfort that I felt at my small college soon became uncomfortable. I was yearning for something more. I realized that I wanted an environment that would challenge me, make me think critically and push me out of my comfort zone.

Although continuing my education in a smaller school had its benefits, at times it was limiting. There wasn’t an abundance of opportunities to branch out or a variety of experiences to learn from. A smaller, mostly regional student population also meant less diversity, denying me the opportunity to immerse myself in new cultures. 

In all honesty, the journey to apply to other schools was more rocky than I thought it would be. I was scared to let any of my friends know that I was applying to colleges, again. I would sit at the least crowded area of the library to make sure no one saw my Common Application. I believe I isolated myself during this time because of the fear of failure. At this point, my head was spinning with many thoughts: What if I tell people that I’m applying to transfer and I don’t get in anywhere? What if they don’t want to be my friends with me anymore? Will my professors be mad at me if I ask for a recommendation letter to transfer out? 

Luckily, my best friend, without my initial knowledge, was also applying to transfer. After we both confessed to each other that we were thinking about transferring, we were able to be a support network for one another. We became even better friends as a result of our shared experience. 

Interestingly, the hard part ended up not being the application process but the decision. Contrary to what I expected, I got into my dream school since seventh grade. High school senior me would have jumped at the opportunity to go to that school without a single thought. But this time, it was harder. Heartbreaking to a point. Here I was, accepted into my dream school, and all I could do was cry. The shock, the happiness but also the grief.

Transferring is not easy, especially if you feel connected to the place you end up deciding to leave. But I hope to believe that at the end, it is all worth it. 

As a result of this process, I now have the opportunity to study in a college that I dreamt of attending for years. I am offered a near-endless array of resources, from alumni to world-class professors. And most importantly, I am challenged to think critically and outside of the box.

I was lucky to transfer from a school that I loved to another school that I adore. But I know that this is not everyone’s transfer experience. Regardless of your reasons for transferring, it is imperative to give yourself credit when it’s due. It is a hard process and a harder decision still, even if you despise the place. However, it is a decision that ends up being rewarding. You will find yourself to be stronger, more confident and assertive in the end. 

And that, to me, is the greatest gift of this process.  


Lead photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Headshot supplied by the author.

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